Ghana: Church Gives Guidelines for Healthy Easter Celebrations

Accra — Catholic faithful in Cathedral churches will mark Palm Sunday in a solemn entrance before principal Mass while in Parish Churches Mass will begin the usual way with faithful advised to carry their palm branches and hold them high for the blessings as the Church begins Holy Week.

"When a procession outside the Church cannot take place, the entrance of the Lord is celebrated inside the Church by means of a Solemn Entrance before the principal Mass. Holding branches in their hands the faithful gather either outside, in front of the church door, or inside the church itself. The priest and ministers and a representative group of the faithful go to a suitable place in the church outside the sanctuary, where at least the greater part of the faithful can see the rite," the Ghana Catholic bishops Conference quoted Decree issued on March 25 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Chrism Mass is to be celebrated in every diocese on either Holy Thursday or on another day of Holy Week. It also may be transferred to a later date.

"The washing of feet, which is already optional, is to be omitted. At the end of the Mass of the Lord's Supper the procession is also omitted," the statement reads.

While adhering to the two-hour duration for Mass as directed by the government, the bishops allowed adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament before it is transferred to the place of repose.

The bishops have cancelled dramatization of the passion of Jesus before the commencement of the Way of the Cross on Good Friday. The bishops will also arrange to have a special intention prepared for those who find themselves in distress, the sick and the dead.

"To be able to work within the two-hour duration directive given by the president of the nation, only the Renewal of Baptism Promises is to be maintained," the bishops said on the vigil Mass stressing on Covid-19 worship guidelines for Easter Sunday and Monday.

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